Fitch Ratings said it has assigned a AA-plus rating to Fort Worth, Texas' $139.6 million general purpose refunding and improvement bonds, series 2012; and $85.8 million combination tax and revenue certificates of obligation, series 2012.
The GO bonds are scheduled for a negotiated sale the week of Aug. 6. Proceeds will finance street and drainage improvements and refund a portion of the city's outstanding tax-supported debt. The COs will be sold competitively on Aug. 14, and proceeds will finance the construction of a new police/fire training facility and purchase public safety equipment.
In addition, Fitch affirms the $400.4 million outstanding GOs and COs at AA-plus and$19.5 million Service Center Relocation Inc. (SCR) lease revenue bonds, series 2004 at AA.
The rating outlook is revised to stable from positive.
Despite revenue declines, the city's recent financial performance has been strong, characterized by generally positive operating margins and increasing reserves. After successfully addressing large budget gaps over the past two fiscal years, primarily through aggressive spending reductions, management anticipates a drawdown of reserves in fiscal 2012 as expenditure growth continues to outpace revenues.
The ongoing budget challenges are the primary reason behind the outlook revision to stable from positive.